Monthly Archives: March 2016

Groundhog Night.

Fourth day on the road, third country: Moscow -> Barcelona ->  Nuremberg -> Milan. A new city means a new agenda: business meetings, interviews, presentations. From morning till night. Then a mad dash to the plane, a new hotel, you unpack your suitcase, you hit the sack, the alarm sounds, you pack your suitcase – and you’re on the road again. Groundhog night. ‘Night’, because the days are all very different and each of them amazing.

With regular flights, getting on top of this schedule is problematic to say the least, so my chance companion A.B. and I flew this Cessna Citation-2 ‘hummingbird’.

Once, a while ago, I felt like counting the cities I had visited – in Russia and the US – and comparing the numbers. You can follow the link to see what came out of it. I used the same approach this time – had a good look at the map of Germany and began to compile the list of cities I’ve been to… Here’s what I came up with:

Hamburg, Hannover, BerlinMagdeburg, Bochum, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Eisenach, Würzburg, Nuremberg, Ingolstadt, Munich – a total of 14 cities, just like in Russia. Oh, and the brief stops in Wolfsburg, Cologne and Koblenz don’t really count.

I had passed Nuremberg a few times (on the route Hannover/CeBIT <-> mountain skiing), but I had never visited the city itself before. Well, now I have. Very nice German city. Specifically, Bavarian city. Or, more precisely, Franconian. Here’s what it looks like:

By the way, I ran into a problem here that tends to happen to serial travelers like me: I forgot my room number at the hotel. Actually, this is typical of people who do a lot of traveling. The funny thing is that you have no problem remembering the room number at the hotel where you stayed yesterday. Sometimes you can even remember the password for yesterday’s Wi-Fi connection. But you can’t for the life of you recall those numbers on the door you’re supposed to use today :)

Hopefully, an awkward situation like this won’t happen today. The hotel is really small – they remember all their guests’ faces and personally hand each guest the big iron key to their door.

The rest of the Nuremberg photos are here.


Top-100 Series: The Final Few.

Herewith, my personal ‘Top-100 Amazingly Beautiful Must-See Places in the World Split up Into the Continents Thereof‘ is coming to a close.

To date, I’ve given you Place Nos. 1–90 of my Top-100. There’ll be a further four coming up below (Nos. 97–100). That of course leaves a mysterious gap – from 91 to 96…

Actually, no mystery at all here. It’s just my not being able to nail the nice round figure of 100! I mean, I could fill the gap with some of the bonus tracks, or I could wait until someone – hopefully in the comments (below) – comes up with some must-sees I’ve scandalously not considered for whatever reason. So really it’s a gap that leaves some room for improvement/perfecting, not knowing for sure how exactly to improve and perfect it now.

That potentially awkward caveat out of the way, let’s get those last Tops, er, out of the way…

97. North Pole.

Perhaps you could have guessed this one would be in this post scriptum installment of my Top-100, as it isn’t a part of a continent – ain’t no country even – so it was always going to be tricky ‘fitting it in’.

You can get to it on an icebreaker on a tour (pics only; Russian text), and I’m told it’s a really worthwhile excursion – not to mention an extreme one.

One thing you won’t see here but might have thought you would are… penguins! Nope, they’re on the other side of the world – on Antarctica (and nearby southern extremes of South America and South Africa).


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Read on: space…

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Expo Marathon.

Right after the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona there was mad dash to get to Nuremberg for another exhibition – Embedded World.

This one is about automating all things that rotate, revolve, pull stuff up and down, heat and refrigerate, pump, chemically bond, move on wheels, float and fly, as well as ‘everything digital for men in orange helmets, and loads of other stuff like that. Big time cyber-industrialism!


Read on: meetings, discussions, presentations…

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Top-100 Series: Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.

Strange as it may seem – what with their being so far away – Australia and New Zealand represent the region I’ve explored the most out all regions of the world. I’ve been to many of their Top-100 spots, and those not yet visited I plan on getting to very soon. “What’s the rush?” you may be thinking, since I’ve been saying all along through this here Top-100 series that I “must get there soon” to dozens of the listed places I haven’t been to yet. Well, that’s an easy one: the region is just awesome. The places I’ve visited there already: all OMG. Add to the mix kangaroos, koalas and crocs, and it all adds up to the most interesting continent on the planet! Ok, not quite a full continent, as there’s Australasia, so maybe I should just stick to ‘region’. Oh, and out of Oceania I’ve only been to Hawaii so far. Caveats duly noted, let’s get cracking folks, and head down under!…

83. Kimberley.

Aussies had been telling be all about this lesser-known region of Oz for years. Finally, in the summer of 2015, I got myself there. Now I know what all the fuss was about.


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Read on: reefs, mountains, glaciers and islands…